Diego Maradona

AFP

Napoli capitalise on Inter Milan’s slip to move top

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Milan (AFP) – Marek Hamsik equalled Diego Maradona’s record as Napoli’s all-time top goalscorer as they took advantage of Inter Milan’s first defeat of the season and moved top of Serie A with a 3-1 win at Torino on Saturday.

Inter went down 3-1 to Udinese at the San Siro earlier in the day and Hamsik, who now has 115 Napoli goals in all competitions, led the way as Maurizio Sarri’s side made the most of Inter’s loss with a three-goal blitz in the first half-hour that saw off Torino and moved them top on 42 points, two ahead of Inter, who drop back to second.

Southgate ‘won’t write off’ World Cup foes

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Moscow (AFP) – England manager Gareth Southgate refused to get carried away with what appeared to be a hugely favourable draw on Friday for his team at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The draw in Moscow saw England given games against Belgium, Panama and Tunisia in Group G.

It meant England, who have not won a major men’s international trophy since lifting the 1966 World Cup on home soil, avoided global giants Argentina, Brazil and Germany after Argentina great Diego Maradona picked them out of Pot 2 at the Kremlin’s State Palace.

Southgate ‘won’t write off’ World Cup foes

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Moscow (AFP) – England manager Gareth Southgate refused to get carried away with what appeared to be a hugely favourable draw on Friday for his team at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The draw in Moscow saw England given games against Belgium, Panama and Tunisia in Group G.

It meant England, who have not won a major men’s international trophy since lifting the 1966 World Cup on home soil, avoided global giants Argentina, Brazil and Germany after Argentina great Diego Maradona picked them out of Pot 2 at the Kremlin’s State Palace.

Spurs’ Kane rips sorry Liverpool to shreds

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London (AFP) – Harry Kane scored twice for Tottenham Hotspur in a 4-1 victory over an abject Liverpool team on Sunday that left the Merseyside club’s Premier League title hopes in tatters.

Kane struck early in each half, book-ending goals from Son Heung-Min and Dele Alli, with Mohamed Salah netting in reply in front of a record Premier League crowd of 80,827 at Wembley that included the great Diego Maradona.

Spurs’ Kane rips sorry Liverpool to shreds

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London (AFP) – Harry Kane scored twice for Tottenham Hotspur in a 4-1 victory over an abject Liverpool team on Sunday that left the Merseyside club’s Premier League title hopes in tatters.

Kane struck early in each half, book-ending goals from Son Heung-Min and Dele Alli, with Mohamed Salah netting in reply in front of a record Premier League crowd of 80,827 at Wembley that included the great Diego Maradona.

Napoli, Inter keep pressure on Juventus

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Milan (AFP) – Marek Hamsik moved closer to Diego Maradona’s scoring record as Napoli stayed top of Serie A with a 3-0 win over Cagliari on Sunday as Inter Milan pulled ahead of Juventus with a 2-1 win at Benevento.

The pressure will now be on Juventus, who travel to Atalanta later on Sunday, with the champions looking to match Napoli’s unblemished seven wins in as many games.

Napoli, Inter keep pressure on Juventus

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Milan (AFP) – Marek Hamsik moved closer to Diego Maradona’s scoring record as Napoli stayed top of Serie A with a 3-0 win over Cagliari on Sunday as Inter Milan pulled ahead of Juventus with a 2-1 win at Benevento.

The pressure will now be on Juventus, who travel to Atalanta later on Sunday, with the champions looking to match Napoli’s unblemished seven wins in as many games.

Argentina pays players to avert strike

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Buenos Aires (AFP) – Argentina’s government said Thursday it paid $22 million dollars to the country’s Football Association to avert a players’ strike over unpaid wages that threatened to disrupt the new season.

The Argentina Footballers’ Union (AFA) had threatened to strike on the first day of the season Friday in a dispute over redistribution of broadcasting revenues.

Hamsik sights Maradona’s Napoli record, Zeman conjures magic at Pescara

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Milan (AFP) – Marek Hamsik moved to within three goals of Diego Maradona’s Napoli record in a 3-1 win at Chievo as veteran Zdenek Zeman steered Pescara to a first win since August in a 5-0 rout of Genoa on Sunday.

Slovakia midfielder Hamsik took his tally to 112 on Sunday with an easy tap-in seven minutes before half-time, and is now just three short of Maradona’s 115-goal club record.

Hamsik sights Maradona’s Napoli record, Zeman conjures magic at Pescara

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Milan (AFP) – Marek Hamsik moved to within three goals of Diego Maradona’s Napoli record in a 3-1 win at Chievo as veteran Zdenek Zeman steered Pescara to a first win since August in a 5-0 rout of Genoa on Sunday.

Slovakia midfielder Hamsik took his tally to 112 on Sunday with an easy tap-in seven minutes before half-time, and is now just three short of Maradona’s 115-goal club record.

Bale left out as Real Madrid aim to halt Maradona-backed Napoli

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Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has resisted the temptation to rush back a fit-again Gareth Bale for their Champions League clash on Wednesday against an on-form Napoli backed by Diego Maradona.

Bale returned to training for the first time since suffering ankle ligament damage in November on Sunday and has been left out of Zidane’s 19-man squad.

Hamsik, Mertens hat-tricks as Napoli hit seven

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Rome (AFP) – Slovakian international Marek Hamsik and Belgian star Dries Martens both hit hat-tricks as Napoli routed Bologna 7-1 on Saturday to go second in Serie A and three points behind leaders Juventus.

Napoli have now hit 55 goals in 23 league games this season although Maurizio Sarri’s men are still outsiders to pip Juve for the title with the defending champions having two games in hand.

Hamsik, Mertens hat-tricks as Napoli hit seven

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Rome (AFP) – Slovakian international Marek Hamsik and Belgian star Dries Martens both hit hat-tricks as Napoli routed Bologna 7-1 on Saturday to go second in Serie A and three points behind leaders Juventus.

Napoli have now hit 55 goals in 23 league games this season although Maurizio Sarri’s men are still outsiders to pip Juve for the title with the defending champions having two games in hand.

Hamsik, Mertens hat-tricks as Napoli hit seven

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Rome (AFP) – Slovakian international Marek Hamsik and Belgian star Dries Martens both hit hat-tricks as Napoli routed Bologna 7-1 on Saturday to go second in Serie A and three points behind leaders Juventus.

Napoli have now hit 55 goals in 23 league games this season although Maurizio Sarri’s men are still outsiders to pip Juve for the title with the defending champions having two games in hand.

All eyes on Higuain as Juve host Napoli

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Milan (AFP) The fallout from Gonzalo Higuain's move to Juventus has not settled over the bay of Naples, and the Turin giants host Napoli Saturday in a Serie A sizzler that could see Roma go top.

Higuain's record 36 league goals for Napoli last season gave the entire city a reason to cheer after the southerners fell out of contention late in the title race.

All eyes on Higuain as Juve host Napoli

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Milan (AFP) The fallout from Gonzalo Higuain's move to Juventus has not settled over the bay of Naples, and the Turin giants host Napoli Saturday in a Serie A sizzler that could see Roma go top.

Higuain's record 36 league goals for Napoli last season gave the entire city a reason to cheer after the southerners fell out of contention late in the title race.

Five things we learnt in Serie A

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Milan (AFP) The Juventus attack is a work in progress, Marek Hamsik is on the Maradona trail for Napoli, it's Totti time at inconsistent Roma and Gianluigi Donnarumma is arguably AC Milan's biggest asset.

Here are five things we learnt in Serie A this weekend:

Juve front line a work in progress

Days before Juventus travel to Champions League opponents Dinamo Zagreb, Massimiliano Allegri is still experimenting with his front line.

Hamsik hits century as Napoli outclass Chievo

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Milan (AFP) Marek Hamsik celebrated hitting his 100th goal for Napoli in a 2-0 win over Chievo that will instill confidence ahead of Wednesday's Champions League clash at home to Benfica.

Yet Slovakian international Hamsik, who is now only 15 short of equalling the all-time scorers' record at the club, held by former icon Diego Maradona, said the focus is now on Europe.

Videos

Heaven Is Five Uninterrupted Minutes Of Diego Maradona Scoring Loads Of Fantastic Goals (Video)

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Hey, you kids ever heard of Diego Maradona? Back in the 1970s and 80s, he was kind of like Lionel Messi if Lionel Messi had a predilection for acting the giddy goat and gorging himself senseless on Class A narcotics.

Undoubtedly more spontaneous and playful than Messi, the man they callThe Golden Child was the best footballer in the world and arguably the most naturally gifted player ever to take to a pitch in anger.

Retro: This Complete Set Of Football Playing Cards From ’90 Minutes’ Magazine Really Is Something Special To Behold! (Photos)

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Photo: @90sfootball/Twitter

The brainchild of TalkSPORT presenter Paul Hawksbee, '90 Minutes' magazine launched in October of 1990 and managed a glorious seven-year run before folding.

While we're certain the publication featured it's fair share of memorable articles and such like, nothing that ever went to print is likely to provide a more lasting impression than the special set of football playing cards that 90 Minutes put their name to in 1993/94(ish).

Diego Maradona Rolls Back Years To Score Impudent 20-Yard Freekick During Al-Fujairah Training Session (Video)

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Photo: @Fuj_FC/Twitter

There's every chance you may have missed the latest update, but Diego Maradona is currently under gainful employ out in the United Arab Emirates where he is head coach at Al-Fujairah SC.

Despite being a couple of months shy of his 57th birthday, Maradona has set about providing an example to his players, tucking away a lovely freekick during Tuesday morning's training session.

Retro Football: Johan Cruyff Discusses Dennis Bergkamp, The Notion Of Greatness And The Perfect Footballer, 1994 (Video)

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Photo: PROSHOTS (via Goal)

On the day of his 48th birthday, we can't help but hark back to the highest praise Dennis Bergkamp ever received, and from Johan Cruyff no less.

Shortly before the 1994 World Cup, Cruyff gave an in-depth interview to Hugo Camps for Het Laatste Nieuws, in which shared his thoughts on a wide array of footballing issues.

Diego Maradona Reveals Hatred For ‘The Simpsons’ On Argentinian Chat Show Before Squabbling With Actor Who Provides Homer’s Latin Voice

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Photo: NurPhoto/Getty Images

Diego Maradona managed to get himself into a bit of a quarrel on an Argentinian chat showrecently when he made the frankly unforgivable mistake of bad-mouthing The Simpsons live on air.

Prattling on about the "awful" state of modern television, Maradona singled out The Simpsons for particular scorn, repeatedly stating for the record that he "hates" the programme and as a result "just can't watch it" (if he's talking about anything post-season 10/11, then we're inclined to agree).

Argentina

On This Day in Football: Birth of El Diego, The Revie era begins for England

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On this day in 1960, Diego Maradona, one of the greatest players to ever play the game, was born in Lanus, Argentina.

Maradona’s prodigious skill with a football was apparent from the beginning. Aged just eight, he was spotted by a scout from Argentinos Juniors. Enthralled by his talent, Argentinos soon took him under their wings to play in their youth team – Los Cebollitas or The Little Onions.

Retro Football: Diego Maradona Turns Out For Tottenham In Ossie Ardiles’ Testimonial, 1986 (Photos & Video)

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Seeing Diego Maradona holding a Tottenham shirt aloft at Wembley on Sunday instantly brought memories flooding back for fans of a certain vintage.

Of course, Maradona has previous when it comes to Spurs the only English club he ever played for during his career, and even then in a non-competitive capacity.

Football Ink: Diego Maradona’s Infamous ‘Hand Of God’ Immortalised In Wonderfully Creative Tattoo Form (Photo)

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While it still rankles with many an England fan (and player), Diego Maradona's nefarious dalliance with divine intervention at the 1986 World Cup has itself become deified in football folklore.

Indeed, one of the most infamous swindles in the game's entire storied history is apparently now venerated enough to warrant a tattoo tribute.

Diego Maradona Announces He’s Very Much In Favour Of Video-Assisted Refereeing Being Used To Prevent Cheating In Football

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The hand that did the damage: Diego Maradona has just been unveiled as the new coach of FC Fujairah of the UAE

Diego Maradona has had his say on video-assisted refereeing (VAR), speaking out as a somewhat unlikely advocate of the controversial new system.

Maradona famously benefited from an absence of such technology at the 1986 World Cup, when he used his divine extremity to plink the ball over Peter Shilton and 'hand' Argentina the lead against England in the quarter-finals.

Diego Maradona Does Series Of Very ‘Diego Maradona’ Things Before Being Made Honorary Citizen Of Naples (Videos)

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Diego Maradona is not what you would call a wallflower.

The Argentinian hero – nay, God – has very rarely taken his foot off the pedal in a life and career that has seen it's fair share of chaos, brilliance, magic and just plain weirdness.

After finishing up his business with the Russian national ice hockey team, the diminutive wizard boarded a flight to Italy, Naples specifically, during which he wasfilmed enjoying a.

Diego Maradona Recreates The ‘Hand Of God’ During Kick-About With Korean Schoolkids (Photos & Video)

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At FIFA's behest, both Diego Maradona and Pablo Aimar flew into Suwon today to help publicise the draw for the upcoming Under-20 World Cup being staged in South Korea.

As part of the event,the Argentinian pair took part in a kick-about inHwaseong Haenggung Square, which included a series of skill challenges and a mini 5-a-side match involving two teams of local kids.

Diego Maradona Gets Into Slanging Match With Juan Veron During The Pope’s ‘Match For Peace’ (Video)

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The great and good of the football world turned out in Rome last night to play their respective parts in a charity football match organised by The Pope.

Unfortunately, it would appearthat Diego Maradona and Juan Sebastian Veron didn't get the memo vis-a-vis the whole 'Match for Peace' concept, with the Argentinian pair bringingthe first half to a close with a good old fashioned slanging match.

beIN SPORTS to debut Argentina World Cup ’86 film ‘Impossible Champion’ this Sunday

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beIN SPORTS will debut a brand-new documentary about Argentina's 1986 World Cup triumph this Sunday night in a film that features exclusive interviews, fantastic match highlights and the unbelievable story of a World Cup that almost never happened.

The Impossible Champion tells the inspiring story of Argentina's 1986 World Cup Victory and what is considered to be the best goal in the international competition's history by Diego Maradona.

beIN SPORTS to debut Argentina World Cup ’86 film ‘Impossible Champion’ this Sunday

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beIN SPORTS will debut a brand-new documentary about Argentina's 1986 World Cup triumph this Sunday night in a film that features exclusive interviews, fantastic match highlights and the unbelievable story of a World Cup that almost never happened.

The Impossible Champion tells the inspiring story of Argentina's 1986 World Cup Victory and what is considered to be the best goal in the international competition's history by Diego Maradona.

Retro Football: 12-Year-Old Erik Lamela Interviewed On Trans World Sport (Video)

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Another little footballing curio for you here in the shape of an archive interview with a young Erik Lamela, long before he was the shaven and shorn, rabona-pinging goddess you see afore ye.

It was Trans World Sport that caught up with Lamela as a prodigious, ponytailed 12-year-old knocking about on the streets of Buenos Aires.

International football

Diego On Ice: Maradona Tries His Hand (Of God) At Ice Hockey As Guest Of Russian National Team (Photos & Video)

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Photo: Russia Hockey/Facebook

After an invite to Lionel Messi's wedding proved not to be forthcoming, Diego Maradona instead spent his weekend as a guest of the Russian national ice hockey team in St Petersburg.

In town for the Confederations Cup Final, Maradona geared up (not like that) for the match bytaking a tour of the new SKA St Petersburg Hockey Town complex.

‘I’d Love To Go’ – Diego Maradona Formally Invited To Speak To Students At Harvard University (Photo)

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As unlikely at it may seem, it looks like Diego Maradona has been invited to speak at Harvard University.

The Argentinian dumpling shared a letter he received fromMariano Siskind, department chair and professor of 'romance languages and literature' at Harvard.

In the letter, Professor Siskind asks Maradona to lecture students at a class called 'The Global Game: Soccer, Politics and Popular Culture'.

European Soccer

Wednesday Kickoff: Griezmann, Jesus, Vidal and more

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While one star forward is debating English interest, another is set to miss quite a bit of Premier League action.

Antroine Griezmann says he has "doubts" over a potential Premier League move. (REPORT)

Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus suffered afractured metatarsal and could be out for up to three months.

Tuesday Kickoff: Marseille, Barcelona, Falcao and more

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An American owner is set to finalize his investmentin one of France's giants, while Barcelona's stars have reportedly rejoined training.

American investor Frank McCourt, who the Los Angeles Dodgers, is closing in on a €45 million purchase of Ligue 1 side Marseille as a deal could be finalized as soon as Oct.

The Rest

Shit Lookalikes: The New Diego Maradona Statue In Kolkata & Bobby Ewing From ‘Dallas’

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A new statue tribute to Diego Maradona has been unveiled in Kolkata, India, and, given that it looks more like his grandmother, it's being mocked to the hilt on social media this morning.

The bronze is supposed to depict Maradona aged 25, hoisting the spoils aloft after dragging Argentina to victory at the 1986 World Cup.

On This Day in Football: The Butcher of Bilbao hacks Maradona

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Diego Maradona moved to Barcelona in the summer of 1982 for a then world record fee of £5 million.

Despite contracting hepatitis during his first season, Maradona helped the club to a fourth place finish and a Copa del Rey title.

Obviously, expectations were high in his second season as the Argentinean superstar had a year under his belt playing in Spain.

XI Delicious Photos Of Footballers Enjoying A Nice Bit Of Chocolate

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If only all football/chocolate tie-inwere so cool, eh?

In what is perhaps the most tenuous tie-in we've ever attempted here on Pies, here's XIphotos of football's great and good getting stuck into various chocolatey treats.

After all, what better way to mark 'International Chocolate Day' than revisiting that time Jerzy Dudek painted an Easter egg?